Another of the archival James Burke gifsets I made for Tumblr starting in 2013, again from The Day The Universe Changed:

(21 Aug 2013)

“See, after years of hard times and no money and living in tinpot brick churches and fighting off the competition from the anti-Popes in France, by 1417 the Roman Papacy was dead keen to use all that trouble with the Turks back in Constantinople to its own advantage. Military aid for the Greeks, money even…” – James Burke

Welcome to one of the best episodes of the series, “Point of View.” I had a rough time picking a moment from the first half of the episode, but in the end I simply couldn’t resist using the flowerpot stand bit. Also, walk-and-talk shots with changing camera angles do horrible things to animated gif file sizes…


(7 Sept 2013)

“Which is exactly what they said to an ex-pirate, ex-bookseller with white hair and a smooth line of talk, who some years later had picked up Toscanelli’s map and made it an even better sell by cutting the circumference of the Earth by 25 percent. (The figure was anybody’s guess in those days.)” – James Burke

I just survived a rough week or so, which explains why a image set I’ve had planned out for nearly two weeks took this long to get done. Sorry about that.

So, before the history buffs jump in: Look. James Burke’s programs aren’t about literal historical accuracy. He’s always been more than willing to trade away some strict adherence to facts if he can make the presentation more engaging. The “Connections” and (in this case) “The Day The Universe Changed” programs are about looking at the chains of events in history from a new perspective rather than simply a dry recitation of this, then that, then the other thing. If, after watching one of these programs, you’re inspired to go digging deeper to learn more… why, I figure Mr. Burke has done his job and then some.

I’ll try not to make you wait so long for the next one. Honest!